Porter Regional Hospital encourages men to think about prostate cancer, gives inside look at robotic-assisted surgery

Porter Regional Hospital encourages men to think about prostate cancer, gives inside look at robotic-assisted surgery
By: Mandy Haack Last Updated: September 25, 2019

Community members Tuesday night were given the opportunity to ‘Talk with the Doc’ as Genri Pinkhasov, M.D., a Board-Certified urologist specializing in urologic oncology and minimally invasive surgery, lead an in-depth discussion about prostate cancer. A highlight of the evening was when attendees were able to interact with the surgical robot that Dr. Pinkhasov uses in the operating room to assist with precision surgery at Porter Regional Hospital. 

Dr. Pinkhasov spoke about how to prevent and detect prostate cancer, while also encouraging men ages 50 and older to be better prepared for any foreseeable outcome. 

According to the American Urologic Association, one in seven men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime. So it’s important to start talking. The event provided more information on the cancer, screenings, and various treatment options, including robotic-assisted surgery.

Dr. Pinkhasov explained that screening for prostate cancer can produce unwanted side effects, such as anxiety and infection, or false positives that lead to unnecessary biopsy. But, the goal is to know your risk for prostate cancer before it strikes and to detect cancer in its earliest stages when the chances of curing it are good. 

If cancer is found, Dr. Pinkhasov said, doctors use a scale called a Gleason score to help determine prognosis and guide treatment. 

“Not every cancer is the same. Some are aggressive— others, not so much. Risk stratification ranges from low, to intermediate, to high, using the Gleason score,” Dr. Pinkhasov said. 

Thanks to advances in medicine and prostate cancer research, several different treatment options are available. 

“There isn’t only one! Not every option might be right for every patient. Depending on risk, some patients may require more than one form of treatment,” Dr. Pinkhasov said. 

Such treatments include open surgery, laparoscopic/robotic surgery, radiation therapy, androgen deprivation therapy, cryoablation (freezing), high intensity focused ultrasound, and others. 

Dr. Pinkhasov specializes in robotic-assisted urologic surgery at Porter Regional Hospital. The precision of robotic-assisted surgery provides many possible benefits to patients, including less pain, less scarring, quicker recovery time, a lower risk of infection, and usually a shorter hospital stay.

 “When people hear robot, they immediately assume a robot will come in and do the job, and then leave. That is not the case here,” Dr. Pinkhasov said. 

Instead, the robot assists the surgeon in the operating room. Dr. Pinkhasov demonstrated how the robot works during the presentation. The surgical robot is a separate mechanism controlled by the doctor. From a control center in the operating room, Dr. Pinkhasov manipulates the robot’s hands, which mirrors the movements of his own hands to assist with precise surgical intervention. During the presentation, he showed how the robot can manipulate tiny pieces of material and make nearly microscopic changes to them.

The discussion provided an outlet for men who likely need to be thinking about prostate cancer, and encouraged them to get involved in their own health and ask questions. It also was helpful for families of those who may have prostate cancer and others who were interested in Dr. Pinkhasov’s information and the latest technology available at Porter Regional Hospital. 

For more information about whether you should be screened for prostate cancer, especially if you have prostate cancer in your family, or if you are age 50 or older, speak with your doctor. Need to find a family doctor? Visit porterphysiciangroup.com. For more information about cancer treatment available at Porter Regional Hospital, please visit Porter Regional Hospital’s cancer services online.